John Lister's picture

Google to Test How Search Results are Displayed

Google is testing two key changes to it search tools. The idea is to make both searching and Search History tools more useful. The first change is to searches themselves. At the moment, users see a search results page and choose one to click on and ... visit the page in question. If they don't find the page useful, they'll click the back button and look for another possibility in the results list. That can be a little fiddly, particularly on some mobile devices where the back option isn't always easy to use. It also makes it even more annoying when a website (against all good design practices) ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Online Chat Tool Charges a Penny Per Character

A new online chat service costs one cent for every character in a message. It appears to be both a business idea and a social experiment. The site has the straightforward name called "Expensive Chat," and has the equally to-the-point description of ... "Spend money to chat with strangers who spend money to chat with strangers." Users can register to pay with their bank card or through third-party payment site "Stripe." Once they are setup, every time they write a message, they'll see a reminder of the price based on its length. They'll have to confirm the message and their willingness ... (view more)

John Lister's picture

Facebook to Test Ultra Slow Connections on Tuesdays

Facebook is to deliberately slow down the Internet connections of its employees on Tuesdays. It's not designed to deter web use, but rather to help staff think about the needs of users across the world. The program will only affect visits to the ... Facebook site itself, rather than access to the entire Internet. It will also be voluntary: the first time an employee logs on to Facebook on a Tuesday, they'll get a pop-up menu asking them if they want to take the "2G Tuesday option." Site Will Run At One-Hundredth 'Normal' Speed If an employee agrees, then all their use of ... (view more)

Brandon Dimmel's picture

Facebook Secretly Manipulated News Feeds

Facebook is making negative headlines once again - this time for a 'data experiment' which was carried out on approximately 600,000 of its members without consent. The experiment reportedly took place two years ago, though only came to light in ... recent days. According to reports, Facebook toyed with the minds of more than half a million users by altering the wording of their News Feeds. Specifically, the social network employed a special computer algorithm that cut or added words associated with positive or negative emotions in order to influence those reading the feeds. A news feed is ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Google Introduces Facebook-Inspired 'Like' Button

Google is reportedly implementing a feature similar to the Facebook "Like" button and will incorporate it into their popular search engine. The new social search feature, called the "+1 Experiment," allows users to recommend a certain link or ... website to their family and friends. Google has big plans to compile all of the information concerning +1 activity in order to provide users with a more favorable experience when using their services. Users Encouraged to Join Experiment Participation in the +1 venture is not automatic, and those interested will have to take an extra minute or ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

Ethical Hacker Proves RFID Tags Remain Vulnerable to 'Skimming'

According to recent reports, $250 worth of electronic equipment allowed Chris Paget, an "ethical hacker," to scan and copy the information stored on radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips embedded in new passport cards (but not the traditional ... passport books), as well as some enhanced drivers' licenses while he drove around San Francisco. The 20-minute experiment was captured on video by The Register. According to Paget, it would be trivial to program blank tags with the skimmed identification numbers -- a key part of the process of creating counterfeit cards. Because the embedded RFID ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

European Experiment Could Lead Earth to Black Hole

Scientists are about to go ahead with the launch of a major physics experiment despite death threats from people convinced it will doom Earth to a black hole. Confused? The Large Hadron Collider, based near the border of France and Switzerland, is a ... cylinder that measures 27 kilometres around. When switched on this week, it will house two beams of protons which will collide at a speed just a millionth of one percent less than the speed of light. This will create up to 600 million particle collisions a second, allowing scientists to test theories about what makes up dark matter and why gravity ... (view more)

Dennis Faas's picture

'Getting Organized Experiment', and 'Open Windows Explorer Faster'

GETTING ORGANIZED EXPERIMENT Comprised of nine unique, creative, and productive programs, the Getting Organized Experiment is the result of a contest where participants were asked to craft software that helps people be more efficient with their ... time. Check out the rather interesting solution to that time-honored problem here. http://www.donationcoder.com/goe2007/ Open Windows Explorer Faster If Windows Explorer takes a really long time to open on your computer, you are most likely experiencing a well-known issue where Windows hangs while trying to search for network folders and printers ... (view more)

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